Case of the MacOS Finder Non-Stop Crashing

95% of the time I run Windows 8 on my MacBook Air, but for music stuff or iOS dev I boot back into MacOS Mountain Lion. So one day I log into MacOS and every 5 seconds Finder crashed, lost the desktop, with the dialog box:

The last time you opened Finder, it unexpectedly quit while reopening windows. Do you want to try to reopen its windows again?

But irresepctive of what I selected (even if I selected nothing) it would re-open about 5 seconds later, then crash again almost immediately afterwards. My desktop icons looked like they had been set to <Blink></Blink>

And I was forced to browse files using Terminal (OK, that is typically my preferred method anyway, so no loss there…)


To diagnose I started with MacOS in-built file monitoring utility, and filtered on finder:

sudo fs_usage | grep –i “finder”

You will then need to put in the root password to elevate fs_usage


You will get some quick scrolling output, something like this:


You can hit Ctrl+C to terminate. Unforuntately the beginning of paths are often chopped off, so you may need to run

find . -name “<folder/filename>” to find what you’re looking for


In this case however I looked through the files / processes with “Finder” and one stuck out as being “non-standard” This was process CitrixFMDAgent that was trying to open files used by Finder, which is part of Citrix CloudGateway with ShareFile + Follow-me Data solution.

I found the location of the process using

ps -e | grep -i “citrix”


I then removed the application using (this will forcefully delete the application, you will need to re-install from source files)

sudo rm -f -R /Applications/Citrix

Immediately after removing Citrix folder my Finder stopped crashing, logging on/off the problem remained resolved. Of course I no longer had Citrix installed…but as to why Citrix caused this, I’ll save that for another day of debugging…

About chentiangemalc

specializes in end-user computing technologies. disclaimer 1) use at your own risk. test any solution in your environment. if you do not understand the impact/consequences of what you're doing please stop, and ask advice from somebody who does. 2) views are my own at the time of posting and do not necessarily represent my current view or the view of my employer and family members/relatives. 3) over the years Microsoft/Citrix/VMWare have given me a few free shirts, pens, paper notebooks/etc. despite these gifts i will try to remain unbiased.
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5 Responses to Case of the MacOS Finder Non-Stop Crashing

  1. n8henrie says:

    Huh, just lost my response after WordPress forced a login.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you. You probably just saved me a lot of time. I had been messing around with repairing permissions, and resetting some ACL’s, when this suddenly popped up three or four reboots later. The fix you described (with Citrix) seems to have resolved the issue. Thanks!

  2. me says:

    Thank you!

  3. Aufa Wiandra says:

    sorry if I may ask how to enter the built-in program to enter the terminal? thanks before.l

  4. Kay says:

    what is a root password please, i can’t seem to be able to type in a password

    • It’s usually either your existing logon password, or possibly the first account that was setup on the machine’s password. Although it can be set individually per machine.

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